Counting inventory is a fact of doing business. It’s one of those parts of standard business operations that certainly can feel disruptive to standard routines, but on the flipside, the whole process around inventory counts can be fascinating. Although the experience itself of checking off sterile part numbers against the black and white of the paper or digital count sheets doesn’t have the same rush as directly working with a customer on a solution to help their business, it really helps to put into perspective how parts, people, process, and systems work together to create a consistent delivery system that supports sustainable service excellence.
It’s the low chatter and partnership of colleagues paired up from opposite sides of organizational charts leaning they have more in common than they thought and the curiosity of getting to know how the largest antenna, to the smallest electronic component are there in the wait – anticipating that customer call, that work order. It’s gaining that little bit of extra knowledge of how these parts come together in the fabric of a service-oriented team. Until that annual inventory count, or periodic cycle count comes along, we forget that we rely on this consistency of process as an essential element of our day to day, and we get to test how well the system, people and process work together to help our customers.
What a great reminder to say thanks to our diligent Inventory, Supply Chain and Finance professionals who work so hard behind the scenes to create environments to sustain operational excellence. We get to come together during inventory counts to build stronger relationships with our co-workers, understand our inventory components better. We also gain that appreciation for the people who make these components journey through the swim lanes of operational service delivery like a smooth-running stream and create plans to maneuver the white-water rapids and hazards that timeline, global supply challenges and everyday demand could make it!